The Words on the Page

Revenge

January 31, 2017

 

Revenge

Written by Mike Kelley

Final Network Draft - January 2011

Drama, 60 pages

 

"This is not a story about forgiveness." - Emily

 

The pilot of Revenge quickly lays a lot of pipe. The lead has dual identities, a lot of characters are introduced, and flashbacks and multiple storylines are often utilized. In a lesser writer's hands, this would risk confusion, but Kelley makes a lot of smart choices.

 

Format wise, in addition to bolding the sluglines, Kelley puts elements that the reader needs to pay attention to in order to follow the story, elements that might otherwise seem unimportant details, in all caps and bold. If it wasn't for this, I'm not sure if I would have paid close enough attention to the carved infinity symbols that match the tattoo on Emily's wrist or the fact that the boat was named "Amanda." By pointing out what I needed to see, Kelley actually eased my read and guided me through the story.

 

Another nice touch was the inclusion of Jake, the dog. He recognizes Emily as Amanda, which further solidifies my realization that she is one and the same. Both Emily and Ben realize his behavior is odd, and it raises the stakes for Emily while simultaneously planting a threat. It's a fast moment with a lot of payoff.

 

Honestly I was impressed with all of the ground Kelley covered in the Revenge pilot. A lot of elements were planted that can come into play further down the line, and having all of the separate layers in the script really drew me in.

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Writing for film, television, and the stage is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult - and most rewarding - art forms. The language needs to be visual and evocative as each script must achieve two important tasks...
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